Kailua Teen Is Up For National Award
Kailua Intermediate School and the Kaneohe Marine base community are learning from the Jordan family how adversity can nurture a giving heart.
KIS eighth-grader Michael-Logan Jordan and his mother ReBecca are in the spotlight this year in particular, following numerous honors and awards for their inspiring volunteer service. Logan, 14, is one of two 2013 Hawaii nominees for the national Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and ReBecca is Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s 2013 Spouse of the Year.
Since he was a tot, Logan has been afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis. He endures pain daily and frequently relies on a cane.
“However, that pain seems a little easier to bear when I’m focusing on helping others,” he explains to everyone. The National Arthritis and Toys for Tots foundations have both benefited from his can-do attitude and example to others.
Where did that attitude come from? Mom.
Married for 12 years to Marine Master Sgt. Chris Jordan, who was wounded in Iraq, ReBecca and her husband have two children, both with a form of arthritis. A former nurse, ReBecca herself has arthritis, diabetes and lupus. But according to her spouse, she’s been the light of everyone’s life. In nominating ReBecca for spouse of the year, he wrote that she is a loving mother, wife and best friend who “never once puts herself in front of others.” And when he “fell into a dark place” after his 2006 IED injuries, “with her strength behind me, I was able to assist in my recovery physically and emotionally.”
Logan’s school nominated him for the Prudential honor, and the Kailua staff is equally pleased to have ReBecca in its ohana. “She’s an ambassador for our school, for public education and for MCBH,” principal Lisa DeLong told the Hawaii Marine, adding that the mother-son team has “gotten us involved as participants and also raised awareness (about arthritis).”
The Jordan team’s touch brought $10,000 to the NAF (through the foundation’s 2012 walk, led by Logan for five years), Wounded Warriors cards and care packages, and countless toys to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots (all of Logan’s birthday presents for eight years have gone straight to the charity).
“Giving back is like medicine to me,” he told the Hawaii Marine. “I do it and I feel better.”
Part of the young fundraiser’s strategy was to establish Logan’s Heroes – friends who donate to NAF. They include local singer Cheesa Laureta from the TV show The Voice and Gary Sinise, known for TV’s CSI New York and the film Forrest Gump. Logan met Sinise when his Lt. Dan Band played at the Marine base last year. Sinise donated $2,500 to the cause and found a kindred spirit.
“Logan promised Gary that he would raise funds for the Gary Sinise Foundation (which builds homes for Wounded Warrior amputees) and present him with a check when he came back here in 2013,” said ReBecca proudly, “and he’s going to make good on his promise.” The band played last weekend at Schofield Barracks and Kaneohe Marine base.
Logan will claim his $1,000 prize for the Prudential award in May in Washington, D.C. – and plans to give it right back to charity.